7.4/10
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Lola Montès (1955)

The film tells the tragic story of Lola Montès, a great adventurer who becomes the main attraction of a circus after being the lover of various important European men.

Director:

(as Max Ophuls)

Writers:

(based on the novel by: "La vie extraordinaire de Lola Montès") (as Cécil Saint Laurent), (scenario) (as Max Ophuls) | 3 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Circus Master
...
...
Horseman Maurice
Lise Delamare ...
Mrs. Craigie, Lola's mother
...
Josephine, The maid
...
Student
...
Private Secretary
Will Quadflieg ...
Héléna Manson ...
Lieutenant James' Sister (as Helena Manson)
Germaine Delbat ...
Stewardess
...
Doctor (as Willy Eichberger)
Jacques Fayet ...
Steward
Friedrich Domin ...
Circus Manager
Werner Finck ...
Wisböck, The artist
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Storyline

The film tells the tragic story of Lola Montès, a great adventurer who becomes the main attraction of a circus after being the lover of various important European men. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The frank and shocking story of the world's most famous woman of scandal! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

23 December 1955 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Lola Montès  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$12,569 (USA) (10 October 2008)

Gross:

$107,264 (USA) (20 February 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Restored version)| (Western Electric Sound System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ophuls surrounded Carol with a solid cast, headed by Anton Walbrook as Ludwig I, Oskar Werner as a student revolutionary and Peter Ustinov as the Ring Master. He shot the film in Germany, Austria and France in three different versions - French, German and English (Ustinov wrote the English-language dialogue). Then he worked with three different editors, each in his own room, on the three different versions. See more »

Goofs

When the Circus Master first tries to recruit Lola, he lists San Francisco as an important North American city, and includes Buffalo Bill in a list of major circus figures. This scene is set shortly before Montez left for Bavaria, so it must be late 1845 or early 1846. San Francisco was called Yerba Buena until 1847, and the name Buffalo Bill was first applied in the 1860s to William F. Cody, who was born in 1846. See more »

Quotes

Circus Master: In Turkey, at the Sultan's request, she bathed in the nude. The guests were delighted, and so were the fish.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in My Life to Live (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Cirque de Celebrity
30 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Watching "Lola Montes" often feels like rollerskating up and down hilly streets lined with sumptuously designed department store windows. At other times you would swear that Josef von Sternberg made a 50s comeback in color, so packed are the frames and so obstructed are the sightlines; the only thing missing is the Sternbergian close-ups. Then you might wonder if Bertolt Brecht had a hand in the screenplay, so alienated are we from the emotional core of this woman's life.

The film seesaws between a circus act starring the middle-aged title character (Martine Carol) and flashbacks to her past. In the circus setting, ringmaster Peter Ustinov presents a series of impossibly lavish tableaux which depict points in Montes's scandalous life. The flashbacks include her first marriage, her dalliance with King Ludwig I of Bavaria (Anton Walbrook), and her relationship with a Bavarian student (Oskar Werner). In reality, Montes never appeared as the star of such a circus act, but this film's creators have chosen to present her life in these terms in order to cast her as a metaphor of the celebrity freak, no different in essence from a circus animal who jumps through hoops or a daredevil who engages in public spectacle. She is almost always seen from a distance, as if to emphasize her actual insignificance. The parallels to our contemporary celebrity culture are obvious.

But beyond this commentary on celebrity and the technical virtuosity of the busy sets and panning camera, there is nothing much here. There is certainly no compelling drama. The central character is so distanced from the viewer that she can only be grasped as a concept, not as a human being.

And I have to agree with others that Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" comes to mind, but even that endless Carnival Cruise Ship commercial had a clear central love story.


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